Understanding the Need for SharePoint 2007 Products

Organizations have increasingly recognized the need for collaboration and document management products over the last decade, and most organizations have implemented one or more products to meet these needs. An overarching goal was to enhance productivity of the information workers in the organization, manage documents for legal and efficiency reasons, provide better search capabilities, and to expose information to Internet and external users.

Most organizations have solutions in place that provide intranet solutions, or portals that often overlap with intranet functionality and features, but typically provide access to software services and applications. As the SharePoint product line matured and provided enhanced feature sets, security, and performance, many clients decided to replace one or more other technologies with SharePoint-based technologies.

Cost effectiveness was, and still is, a driving factor for SharePoint implementation. Windows SharePoint Services became known as the “free” version of SharePoint and was often implemented to test-drive the features. WSS isn’t technically free because the organization must still purchase the Windows Server operating system that houses the WSS sites and must purchase the SQL Server software and licenses if the full version of SQL Server is being used. WSS does not require the purchase of the SharePoint Portal Server 2003 or SharePoint Server 2007 software, nor does it require that the organization pay for the client access licenses (CALs). However, the implementation cost is lower than the full version of SharePoint Server and this was a key factor in the adoption of SharePoint software. With this less-expensive option, organizations were able to test-drive the features of the SharePoint family at very low software costs, test migrations from other collaboration/intranet/portal/document management solutions, and determine whether their needs would be met. In many cases, this resulted in savings of tens of thousands of dollars over competing products.

Another driving factor was the close integration of SharePoint products with the Office product line, which a large percentage of organizations use. Their knowledge workers could easily publish documents to their SharePoint sites from their familiar applications like Word and Excel, and could “connect” to calendar or task data in SharePoint lists and libraries from their Outlook clients. Many competitors’ products sought to offer the same level of integration, but were typically several steps behind in features and ease of use.

For organizations requiring the full set of features, they could upgrade to SharePoint Portal Server 2003 or SharePoint Server 2007, and then would need to purchase CALs for each user (internal or external) that would be accessing the SharePoint sites. Typically, “enterprise class” SharePoint implementations would use the full version of SQL Server and benefit from enhanced features, management tools, performance, and scalability.

Organizations that had been experimenting with SharePoint technologies gradually came to depend upon them for managing large amounts of data and enhancing existing business processes, and as SharePoint dabblers evolved into power users, requests came up for features that SharePoint 2003 didn’t provide out of the box. Fortunately, third-party companies quickly evolved to offer new, cutting-edge features, such as an undelete capability, workflow tools, enhanced navigation tools, roll-up web parts, and many more. FrontPage 2003 allowed customization of SharePoint pages and sites, and developers could also turn to the Visual Studio products for more advanced development.

Enter the SharePoint 2007 product line, which builds on the many strengths of the previous version, introduces features that end users have requested, and provides new features that many users might never have dreamed of.

Source of Information : Sams - Windows Server 2008 R2 Unleashed

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